Hannie is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from La Trobe University. Rayson was a cofounder of Theatreworks, and has served as writer-in-residence at the Mill Theatre, Playbox Theatre, La Trobe University, Monash University, VCA and New Writing North (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK).
Her plays have been performed extensively around Australia and several have been produced overseas. They include PLEASE RETURN TO SENDER, MARY, LEAVE IT TILL MONDAY, ROOM TO MOVE, HOTEL SORRENTO, FALLING FROM GRACE, SCENES FROM A SEPARATION (co-written with Andrew Bovell), COMPETITIVE TENDERNESS, LIFE AFTER GEORGE, INHERITANCE, TWO BROTHERS, THE GLASS SOLDIER, and THE SWIMMING CLUB. Hannie’s most recent play, EXTINCTION, was commissioned by The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York through the Alfred P Sloan Foundation. Hannie’s plays have won AWGIE Awards; Green Room Awards; Helpmann Awards; NSW Premier’s Literary Awards; Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the Age Performing Arts Award. LIFE AFTER GEORGE was the first play ever to be nominated for the prestigious Miles Franklin Award.
Hannie’s memoir, HELLO, BEAUTIFUL! was published by Text Publishing in February 2015. She adapted the story for a one-woman show, also called HELLO, BEAUTIFUL! which opened at The Malthouse Theatre in May 2016. She is touring the show nationally in 2017 and 2018.
Hannie also writes for newspapers and magazines and in 1999 she won the Magazine Publishers’ Society of Australia, Columnist of the Year Award for her column in HQ Magazine.
Her television scripts include SLOTH (ABC, Seven Deadly Sins) and she co-wrote two episodes of the award-winning series SEACHANGE (ABC/Artists Services). A feature film of Hotel Sorrento (1995) was nominated for ten Australian Film Institute Awards, winning two, including Best Screenplay adaptation.